ABOUT THE INNOVATION EXPLOSION
THE INNOVATION EXPLOSION is a step-by-step structured process of transformational learning that guides you through innovating a chosen project and leaves you with the tools to repeat the process on other projects going forward.
THE INNOVATION EXPLOSION has been developed by studying the work of dozens of international innovation and creativity experts, packaged into a simple, sensible model backed by real world testing, delivered in 8 x 2 hour modules for individuals, and a choice of 8 x 3 hour modules or a 3 day version for companies.
THE INNOVATION EXPLOSION originated as a class for tertiary students and was finally released to the public in 2019. Prices remain low for comparable products and will remain so for the rest of 2019 as part of our development, so get on board now!
Advanced and Mastery levels of THE INNOVATION EXPLOSION will be released soon.
The Principles Underlying Our Workshops
1. EVERYONE IS BORN EQUALLY CREATIVE AND WE ALL LOSE OUR CREATIVITY AS WE GROW UP
There is no scientific evidence of a Creativity gene that favours one child over another at birth, or helps you inherit the incredible innovativeness of your parents. Extensive studies have shown this again and again. It is nurture, not nature, that is responsible for how Creative you have become.
So then how come people do have such different levels of Creative ability and agility today? A shocking study by psychologist George Lund in the 1960s hints at the root of the problem. Lund worked for NASA studying the levels of Creativity in 5 year olds. 98% of them tested at Creative Genius level. He then tested the same children at 10 and again at 15 years old. Then went on to test nearly 300,000 adults. What he found was astounding.
Almost horror-movie terrifying isn’t it? Not only did more than 2/3 of the children plummet in Creativity in the next five years – almost no adults retained their Creativity level from childhood.
Why? Educator Ken Robinson argued in a 2006 TED Talk that standard education practices crush students’ innate Creative talents – this became the most popular TED Talk of all time. And most people do blame our Creative “dumbing down” on traditional schooling.
At CYC we have a slightly different theory. We see the schooling as a perfectly natural response to the needs of humans during this time in history. We see Creativity as something that society has judged as unnecessary in adulthood. For most people, Creativity in adulthood threatens survival: more important has been the ability to make quick and decisive determinations of external threats and opportunities, which means using experience to select actions.
Think about it: if a lion is coming at you in the bush, or a speeding car on the road, or an angry boss threatening to fire you – it’s hardly the time to come up with a fresh new way of approaching the situation. For most people, following what has worked for you and others before is the best way to deal with a threat to your survival.
Yet many studies have shown that the trends taking us into the Fourth Industrial Revolution are changing all that. For the first time in hundreds if not thousands of years, Creativity IS the best route to survival. And our Childrens’ education systems are beginning to respond to this. So how do we change this habit? Especially if we have already been formally educated?
2. “THINKING OUT OF THE BOX” IS USELESS AND DAMAGING
Think about it. If a lizard didn’t have boxes in its brain, it would not know what it can eat or what would eat it. It wouldn’t survive more than a few hours.
A mammal has far more sophisticated sets of boxes, but it still needs to categorise everything it experiences to know how to respond. Humans are very clever mammals aren’t we? Our set of boxes looks more like this:
Humans are box-thinking machines. Every input we receive gets filed into multiple boxes. Is it good or bad for me? Right or wrong for me? Attractive or repulsive? We make decisions about how to respond in every situation based on our experience, manifested in our specific landscape of boxes. In fact, our boxscape is our personality. We tend to go with what has worked before – or even often what has not worked – because it is who we are.
We’ll defend what works for us against all challenges. What kind of people we’ll associate with, our taste in food or movies, our politics. We survive both physically and psychologically by thinking in boxes.
Asking you to think out of the box is like asking you to drive to Mapti without a map. You probably don’t even know where Mopti is (It’s in Mali. I also looked it up) Some of you might welcome the challenge – you’re the adventurous type. It doesn’t mean you’ll make it in time, or at all.
Creativity is NOT thinking outside the box. Which is good, because we’re terrible at that. Creativity is thinking INTO the box – but adding new items you don’t usually put there, or making the box bigger, or even creating brand new boxes.
For instance, my dog BonBon eats cooked carrots. She didn’t always eat them. But one day, perhaps because she was very hungry, she picked up a carrot someone dropped off the floor, and decided she liked it. And boom – a new item was placed in the “good to eat” box. That’s Creativity.
3. SINCE CREATIVITY IS A SKILL, NOT A TALENT, IT’S EASY TO RECOVER IT
Luckily as a skill, Creativity is something we can recover, just like learning to walk again after an accident.
Creativity begins to grow again with the willingness to change your set of boxes. This is why even people who already “happen to be very creative” benefit from a recovery process. Their Creativity itself is a rigid box.
Most people think they’re very willing to shift. They raise their hands when asked if they are ready to become more Creative. But they don’t raise their hands when asked if they’re ready to become more uncertain. And that’s the next challenge. Creativity IS uncertainty. The willingness to try new things out means being willing to question your existing boxes – which means being willing to question who you even are. Being willing to accept that who you’ve been until now was “wrong” – or at least not right.
CREATIVITY = CURIOSITY = UNCERTAINTY = DOUBT
Are you willing to start rethinking INTO the box?
In other words, are you willing to become Uncertain?
4. CREATIVITY HAPPENS IN A DIALOGUE BETWEEN CONSCIOUS AND SUBCONSCIOUS
Do you ever have the above experience of the Creative “Process”?
It’s a bit weird, since the actual Process looks more like the below. Which makes sense, because it’s a mental PROCESS.
We perceive – take in information through our senses or from our memories. Then we analyse and categorise it – yep, put it into boxes.
Then we ideate – come up with new ideas. We compare those ideas, and select one. We then represent it by writing, speaking, or just thinking it. This usually happens again and again in a loop; for instance in writing an email, or reading this paragraph.
Why does the top diagram seem more familiar? Because we don’t actually surrender to the process. We interpret our perceptions in line with our boxscape and we decide too quickly, based on our bias.
This is why five year olds are at such an advantage. They perceive the world with less bias and they hardly judge at all. Have you ever seen a first grader berate themselves over their lousy drawing? Of course not. But as grown-ups we soil both ends of the process.
We have to understand that Creativity happens in a dialogue between our conscious and subconscious minds.
Look back at the three circles. We perceive, interpret, decide, and express both consciously and subconsciously.
Most adults have either put our subconscious in a dungeon where no one can find it, or beat it into a coma with criticism and negativity.
Yet this is where most of the creative process happens. We need to learn to manage our subconscious rather than abuse, suppress or control it.
5. WHAT’S NEEDED IS CREATIVE RECOVERY
The IDEATION moment is unique in that it is entirely a subconscious process. Everything before and after requires collaboration, but Ideation only requires to be left alone for a moment. This is why the experience of getting a flash of insight always seems like it came from outside yourself.
Great innovators have managed to preserve their childlike willingness to keep the circles simple, and surrender to the process, or they have managed to find a way to rebuild or regain this innocence. Either way, they have learned to manage their subconscious instead of damaging it. This is the key thing you must take on board to have your Creative Process work its natural magic again.
You must train your conscious and subconscious minds to do the jobs they were designed for. You must learn to allow your subconscious space to play in.
We have been traumatised. We have traumatised ourselves. We need to recover.
So how does the Innovation Explosion support that?
HOW THE INNOVATION EXPLOSION WORKS
No Innovation is truly original – they all draw from a legacy both from history and peers.
THE INNOVATION EXPLOSION in like fashion draws on the work of dozens of international Innovation and Creativity experts. What is Innovative and unique is the way we have constructed the process, which builds step by step, represented by the pyramid on the left. Yes, this looks like the Hierarchy of Needs, and like that theory this one emphasises that building the quality above depends on solidifying the quality beneath.
Our workshop thus proceeds in eight modules: an intro and outro, and one module each for the pyramid’s six qualities.
0 Intro to Innotivity – Checking the Tires
Who, What, and Where is Innotivity? Why Innotivity matters. Creativity and Innovation in the 4IR. The ACTUAL Creative Process. Problem-solving and Critical Thinking. What we mean by Creative Recovery. Thinking INTO the Box.
1 Safety – Checking the Tires
Creating a Safe Space, Time, Mind and Social Environment to unleash the Subconscious. Relearning the correct relationship between the parts of your mind. Creating a project Mission Statement.
2 Identity – Taking the Wheel
Transforming your Identity to bring Innovation to all parts of your life. Generating ideas from who you declare you are. Letting go of past damage to unleash new thoughts. Creating a project Identity Statement.
3 Integrity – Tuning the Engine
What is Integrity really? Why does it matter? Integrity as the basis for explosive Innovation. The value of planning, predicting, and reward. Celebration as a form of Integrity. Creating a project Values Statement.
4 Possibility – Opening the Throttle
Techniques and tips for opening the Ideating mind. How to inspire a flood of new and better ideas. Suspending judgment and silencing the inner critic. Being truly present. Divergence and lateral thinking tricks.
5 Vision – Setting the GPS
Placing your unique stamp on the being-created future gives you clarity on who you need to be now. Vision as idea generator. Convergence Thinking. Being decisive. Creating a project Vision Statement.
6 Connection – Hitting the Highway
Connecting your project to the world. Building a Creative support network. Making money and impact from your mind. Innovation as a lifestyle. Connection to generate even better thoughts. The value of combining ideas.
∞ Onward – The Future is Now
How to use what you’ve learned to continue growing your Creativity and Innovation skills every day and preserve your new Creative health. How to take your focus project and all your new projects forward successfully.